Ultrasound imaging-guided intracardiac injection to develop a mouse model of breast cancer brain metastases followed by longitudinal MRI

Heling Zhou, Dawen Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Breast cancer brain metastasis, occurring in 30% of breast cancer patients at stage IV, is associated with high mortality. The median survival is only 6 months. It is critical to have suitable animal models to mimic the hemodynamic spread of the metastatic cells in the clinical scenario. Here, we are introducing the use of small animal ultrasound imaging to guide an accurate injection of brain tropical breast cancer cells into the left ventricle of athymic nude mice. Longitudinal MRI is used to assessing intracranial initiation and growth of brain metastases. Ultrasound-guided intracardiac injection ensures not only an accurate injection and hereby a higher successful rate but also significantly decreased mortality rate, as compared to our previous manual procedure. In vivo high resolution MRI allows the visualization of hyperintense multifocal lesions, as small as 310 μm in diameter on T<inf>2</inf>-weighted images at 3 weeks post injection. Follow-up MRI reveals intracranial tumor growth and increased number of metastases that distribute throughout the whole brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere51146
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number85
Publication statusPublished - Mar 6 2014



  • Breast cancer brain metastasis
  • Intracardiac injection
  • Issue 85
  • MDA-MB231/Br-GFP cells
  • Medicine
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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